Since September 2014, Redemption Song Foundation has had its office, staff housing and community center for the Batwa in a lovely one-story house in Buhoma, a few kilometers from the main entrance to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – the ancestral forest homeland of the Batwa people – and just down the hill from Kalehe village, where the Batwa we work with live.
The house has a beautiful large yard, with banana, plantain, avocado, and mango trees, and a pineapple plantation. Alas, the owner recently sold the house and sadly, he also passed away last month. As a result, RSF has found itself suddenly without a home for the future.
The RSF House has provided a safe place for the Kalehe Batwa kids to play soccer (“football” in Uganda) and Frisbee, to do cartwheels in the yard, and to come inside to watch movies, color and play with toys and read books.
Every week, the RSF house welcomes all the Kalehe Batwa kids to our Educational Soup Kitchen — feeding them a protein-rich meal,...
The child on our website who first captured our director Wendee’s attention through the camera lens has recently lost a sponsor for his schooling. We are looking for someone who is willing to help further Beckham’s education by sponsoring him. This means you will get to write to him, share photos of yourself or your family, and he will write back!
We have 2 sponsorship levels. The first level involves a recurring donation of $45 per month or a one-time payment of $500 per year – as a thank you, we will send you a free handmade basket made by your child’s mother. For those who want a lower option, you can pay $25 per month or $300 per year.
These funds pay for school uniforms, shoes, school supplies, administration costs – which include paying for our all-Ugandan staff and phone and internet costs – as well as our weekly educational soup kitchen.
Beckham attends RSF's brand new Hope Stone Academy for Batwa kids, and with small classes and individualized attention, we will give thes...
Houston, Texas. Before heading to Uganda, I owned a house here, and I am living here now. I graduated from high school here, raised my kids here, and have lived here for longer than anywhere else. So the effects of Hurricane Harvey and the after-storm are near to my heart.
The past week has seen the worst flooding Houston has ever seen. The freeway overpass closest to where I now live was completely underwater! The San Jacinto River reached the highest level in history, overflowing so dramatically that much of the NE suburb of Kingwood was drenched in several feet of water. My apartment did not flood, but dozens of my friends have had their homes flooded, the local high school flooded, the library flooded. Local folks used their own boats to help police & emergency services rescue families from their flooding homes. And this is just a tiny corner of Houston. Throughout the city, this was repeated, from Kingwood to the city center to Dickinson. It's traum...
Last month, we installed the clean water system you helped fund, and we now have sponsors for all 16 of the Kalehe Batwa kids. It feels great, but now our bank account is depleted... Operating on a shoestring budget is not easy! We didn't raise sponsorship fees this year (but we really need to), can you help us in this pinch by donating $20, $50 or $100 to our "Free Our Minds" Education Fund(That's from a line from Bob Marley's Redemption Song... "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, only ourselves can free our minds").
We need to raise $6000 in a short time, and the funds will go towards:
* Expanding the Educational Soup Kitchen to twice weekly. This helps the younger kids who attend the local school get better nutrition plus supplemental education. These kids are not performing as well as the boarders, so I really want to help give them a boost.
* Supplementing our sponsorship program by allowing parents to visit their kids each term, having...
Look at that smile! I've been blessed beyond words to befriend sweet Beckham and to watch him grow up and thrive before my eyes. He entered school late last year with his younger brother. They sometimes come over on Sunday mornings and I find them peering in my window, standing on their tippie toes. This photo of Beckham (with Shivan in my room shows his gigantic smile. His emotions are so big. When he's sad, he tries to hide it but he can't--I can see it in his eyes and quiet tears. When he's happy his smile lights up the whole room! He has the most adorable giggle and his super ticklish. He's learning simple English-they teach it in the schools, and of course I teach them-and loves to copy the English words I say like 'yukky' and 'poopoo.' :)
Having him and the family in my life is such a blessing.
Another reminder: It's Cyber Monday and the 15% off (GIVING15 coupon code) is still good today and tomorrow.
We want to give Beckham and his whole village Clean Water for Christmas!!! If on...
We want to give Beckham & his whole village Clean Water for Christmas!! If only 400 people donate $20 by then, we will exceed our end goal of $7500, so we can give his Batwa village this life saving gift. We have joined the international Giving Tuesday (Nov 29) movement, a day of Giving back, after the Black Friday shop-til-you-drop and Cyber-Monday.
We got the bridge finished today: our first project from the RSF Batwa Artisan Co-op funds! We built a bridge across the Munyaga River, so kids and adults alike don't have to wade across. The kids sometimes come to my house, which is just across the river from Karehe village on the mountain, soaked up to their necks... it's about a foot deep NOW, and in the rainy season gets much deeper. This is a safety issue, and a convenience issue. There's another way down the hill and across the river with a bridge, but it's about a half-mile across Karehe village. We started Monday, working with one carpenter and the entire Batwa village. Even the women helped carry the logs and the timber. (We plan to plant new trees to replace the ones we harvested). I am truly proud of this community coming together to work on this bridge, as many have said the Karehe Batwa dont work together, they drink too much, they have too many issues. I believe in them, and they are believing in themselves, and hopefully...